3249. Robert Southey to Messrs Longman &c., 19 February 1819

3249. Robert Southey to Messrs Longman &c., 19 February 1819 ⁠* 

Dear Sir

I am now drawing fast toward the close of my long Brazilian labours. Two chapters more will compleat it, & I shall not take my hand from the work till it is done. [1]  We may therefore I think now employ some person to make an Index, – of course the less room it occupies the better, so it be sufficient for purposes of general reference. [2] 

Toplady & the Magazines [3]  have proved of signal service, – the information which they have afforded has prevented me from committed some great mistakes which I could not otherwise have avoided. I shall soon return the ‘Anecdotes’ [4]  & some of the other books.

Please to procure for me, for Wesleys life, [5]  the magazine of the New Methodists, (which is published by Button) [6]  the minutes of their Conference, [7]  & those of the Irish Conference. [8]  If these, as I suppose, are published. – And in my own account let me have the common octavo of

Bewicks Fables, [9] 

Franklins Life & Correspondence (the new octavo edition) [10] 

& John Duntons Life & Errors [11] x which I believe has been reprinted.

– One word more. Will you publish a translation of Azara’s Travels in S America (B. Ayres & Paraguay) two octavos? [12]  – The book is amusing, & of good repute. The subject daily more likely to obtain public attention. I think my brother would like to translate it, – & I would add a few notes to point out the errors of the original, – & show him what to add from the same authors works upon the Birds & Beasts of that country. [13] 

Yrs very truly

R Southey.

Keswick. 19 Feby. 1819.


* Address: To/ Messrs Longman &c
Endorsements: R Southey/ Feb 19/ 1819; Addressed to/ Messrs Longman &c
MS: University of Kentucky Library. ALS; 4p. (c).
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey was completing his History of Brazil, 3 vols (London, 1810–1819). It took him longer than expected because of the amount of material to cover, and in the published version the two concluding chapters occupied vol. III, pp. 657–879. BACK

[2] For the index, which covered the entire work, see History of Brazil, 3 vols (London, 1810–1819), III, pp. [903]–950. BACK

[3] Longman had lent Southey the following for his work on his biography of John Wesley (1703–1791; DNB), The Life of Wesley; and the Rise and Progress of Methodism (1820): a six-volume edition of Augustus Toplady (1740–1778; DNB), Works (1794); the Arminian Magazine (1778–1797), continued as the Methodist Magazine (1798–1967), the official monthly publication of the Methodist denomination; and the Gospel Magazine (1766-present), a magazine mainly aimed at evangelical Anglicans. BACK

[4] Longman had lent Southey a copy of John Nichols (1745–1826; DNB), Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century (1812–1815). Southey did not return the book; see Southey to Longman, 7 May 1819, Letter 3291. See also no. 2034 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[5] Southey’s request probably stemmed from information in The Monthly Repository of Theology and General Literature, 13 (February 1818), 145, on publications by the New Connexion, which had broken away from Methodism in 1797. BACK

[6] The New Methodist Magazine (1812–1832), a continuation of The Methodist Magazine; or Evangelical Repository (1798–1811). This paper was distributed in London by the firm of William Button (1754–1821), a Baptist Minister and bookseller. It was the official magazine of the New Connexion. BACK

[7] Minutes of Conversations between Travelling Preachers and Delegates, Late in Connexion with the Rev. Mr. Wesley was printed annually from 1797. BACK

[8] The Irish Methodists held annual conferences from 1782 onwards, but the proceedings were only occasionally published, e.g. Minutes of Several Conversations between the Methodist Preachers in Ireland in a Conference begun in Dublin on the 13 July 1804 (1804). BACK

[9] The engraver Thomas Bewick (1753–1828; DNB) had begun publishing illustrated editions of fables in the 1770s. The volume Southey requested was possibly an edition of Bewick’s The Fables of Aesop and Others, first published in 1818. BACK

[10] Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Benjamin Franklin (1818), no. 1065 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[11] The Life and Errors of John Dunton, Citizen of London (1818), no. 873 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. This was a work by the bookseller and author, John Dunton (1659–1733; DNB), first published in 1705. BACK

[12] Felix Manuel de Azara (1742–1821), Voyages dans l’Amérique Méridionale Depuis 1781, Jusqu’en 1801 (1805), no. 90 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. Tom Southey did not translate this work. BACK

[13] Azara, Essais sur l’Histoire Naturelle des Quadrupedes de la Province du Paraguay (1801), no. 89 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

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Keswick (mentioned 1 time)